Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas From Eden Park

Every year I love to visit Eden Park Conservatory.
There's something special about taking time to stand and contemplate the birth of Jesus.
I can't stop thinking of the words to one of the songs in our church cantata this year that say,
"Still He came -- to a world so lost..."
Thank You Jesus for coming!

The girls and I.
Alicia wore her GBS sweatshirt - a guy stopped her and said - "That's where I met my wife!"
You never know! She tried to hide the emblem the rest of the night!

Loved these butter cream colored poinsettas!!!

Amaryllis everywhere -- deep, beautiful colors!!!

Wish this picture showed it's beauty!

Sorry for the turns so you can see all the different landmarks of the city
and watch the trains go 'round and 'round.

My mom, sister (Bev), and the girls...
Just love 'em to pieces!!

These were gorgeous!
and yes, I touched them...couldn't help myself...there, now I feel better.

Cards didn't get sent this year...
Merry Christmas my dear friends and family members!!
You are loved and important to me!
If you blog - I check up on you.
If you're on FB I really check up on you.
I wish it were possible to take a few weeks off and just stop by for a couple of hours
in each of your homes -- I have friends from New Jersey to Alaska -- from Florida to Canada --
from the USA to Europe, the Islands, Africa -- how fun that would be!!
"...if only in my dreams..."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

Alicia gets ready for 9th grade.

August - Christi's 12th birthday

The biker's arrive home -- David and friend Brandon help celebrate

August - Aunt Char and Cole

One of the few pictures I have of Dave -- congratulating Anthony on his
300 mile ride

Anthony contemplating

Friday, October 16, 2009

Motivational Seminar in Cincinnati

Colin Powell's speech was well done and I really enjoyed listening -- I loved just observing his mannerisms and ability to engage the crowd. Some of his thoughts are as follows:
"It's not where you start....but where you are going."
"You have to have a purpose."
"Take care of the troops."
"Have empathy for the followers."
"You'll know you're a good leader if they follow out of curiosity."

I was so afraid I would miss hearing Mrs. Laura Bush. Thankfully, I didn't! Her entire demeanor and presentation was different from all the others but I loved the contrast. She spoke of her family and the Sr. Bush's. She spoke a lot about "George" and the adjustments they have made since leaving the White House, not with complaint or defeat, simply life and what takes place after leaving such an incredible post. She closed with a statement that really impacted me,
"I know who I am and I know who George is."
In other words, after all the critics are done and all the gossips have had their say, there is the ability to keep perspective and to stay on task and focused.
In my words,
"I know who I am and I know who God is."

Robert Schuller gave the "devotional." He talked of setting goals, never giving up, and of course, the power of positive thinking.

"Always look at what you have left, never look at what you have lost."

He told the story of his daughter who loved to play softball but because of an accident she had to have a leg amputated. When it was mentioned that she would never play again, she determined to try. When running the bases came into the discussion her reply was, "I'll hit home runs!" LOVE the optimism!!

Then there was Zig Ziglar -- his new book releases Oct. 27th entitled "Embrace the Struggle."
He reminded us:
Love the things that money won't buy --
money can buy a bed but not a good night's sleep
money can buy a house but not a home
money can buy a friend but not a companion

The last speaker I'll mention -- there were so many good ones -- was Tamara Lowe, the organizer of the entire event. When she first got up I was not impressed but by the end she "wowed" me! She told her life story in a nutshell, spoke of how she prayed the sinner's prayer, and then prayed it again so that those in the audience could respond.
Her new book, "Get Motivated" has just been released.
Can't wait to read it -- I'm sure it will benefit my ability to motivate in my home school and college classes.

Then there was Rudy Giuliani, Terry Bradshaw, Rick Buluzzo, Tom Smith...

OK, so I loved it!

It's Been A Long Time

Wow -- It's been a very long time since I've been on the blog. Time has a way of moving along and as it has been with you, so with me. FaceBook has overtaken the familiar homey feel of checking and posting on blogs. But somehow I am drawn back. There was something about the blog that was, well, nice. It feels good. Instead of short clipped sentences about people exercising, shopping, cooking, hunting...well - you get a paragraph. You get to see into the heart and home of the person blogging -- yea, I sort of miss it. So I think I'll come back -- not all the time, but just every now and then. Facebook has it's place -- keeps me updated on the happenings in my own personal family!! It also helps me cross the globe to my extended family...but there's just something cozy being I'm going to get my coffee, download a few favorite pics, and get started.

Until next time....

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Side of Anthony that NOBODY but family and 1 or 2 friends ever see...

While waiting at Dave's parent's favorite diner in Pennsylvania, Anthony found
a box of glasses that people had donated to a charity. Not thinking of the potential germ hazard, he proceeded to put us all into fits of laughter as he produced different poses.
I only wish I had sound!!!!

He'll kill me so this is probably my last blog!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sad Week

This has been a difficult week -- after the "high" week of VBS I have hit a major low -- and for me that's saying a lot!

Although I did not know Randy and Heather Loper well, I did know and enjoy their children from my interaction with them at Franklin Bible Methodist, Kidz Adventure, and Heartland Camp. Today they watched the funeral of their father. I watched on-line after having attended the viewing yesterday and was heart broken for them and Heather. If only I could help to carry some of their pain!

Today we received what we thought was a reminder for Christi to see her orthopedic Dr. to determine what foot treatment we should pursue. The first lines read "It is with deep sorrow that we must inform you that Dr. Robert L. Cooper passed away suddenly on Sunday, June 14th. He had been treated for a rare type of leukemia which was complicated by pneumonia." We were all shocked!!! He had performed David's bunion surgery last May, had discovered Anthony's foot and ankle issues and worked diligently to give him the best treatment, had helped Christi ... we had no idea that we would never see him again! He was great and loved his his 40's and with pre-teen/early teen children. My heart is broken and unlike Randy, I am not sure of his final then the question arises...did I say and do enough to faithfully share with him the gospel? I could have done more!

Tomorrow morning bright and early we leave for a very busy and exhausting but in a crazy way -- super fun -- week. AYC is just around the corner - it's a week of giving, loving, and laughing.
We will also visit with Dave's folks. That will be fun too but it hurts to see them growing older and having to deal with so many aches, pains, and medications. On the other hand we'll enjoy Philly pretzels and Rita's Water Ice --- MMMMM GOOD!

And so ... I say good-night -- rather Good Morning -- it's almost 1:00 AM and have almost finished my "to-do list" -- blogging not being one of them -- just had to write, this mood is not something I'm comfortable with --- rather foreign actually. But, now I feel better....Good Night!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kenwood Kidz VBS 2009

This year we are headed to Rome to visit Paul and the Underground Church.
The kids are divided up into Roman families and visit the marketplace, Paul, the Underground Church, participate in games, enjoy Extollo and of course, munch on a snack.

Drama takes place in the marketplace... a slave is set free...

A Roman Family

My girls help put down the finishing touches on the stage.

Young men enjoying the metal working shop.

Mrs. Wingham is in charge of the toga shop.

Christi and Abbey in the carpenter shop.

Alicia and Brooke help the kids learn caligraphy in the Scribe's booth.
The kids love this - especially when they seal their "document" with wax and and a stamp.

Outside Games

Meeting secretly in the underground church.

A shop .... waiting for visitors

The underground church ... lights on...when the kids arrive it is dark and lit with "candles"...but not dark for long...little ones can only handle so much...

I love the aqueduct

Center stage...I think this is so cool looking!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I was not a big Bigg's fan until ...

I have never liked Bigg's -- I'm a Kroger person almost 90% of the time but last week I was wooed into the store with the bait of double and triple coupons up to $2.00.

I left with a huge smile on my face even though I had to spend extra time finding the stuff in the unfamiliar aisles.

Here's what the receipt reads:

Advertised Savings : $1.50
Manufacturer Coupons: $37.25
Store/Dbl/Triple Coupons: $46.15
SRP Savings: $49.87

You saved a grand total of: $134.77
That is a savings of: 77%

Total spent: $40.94

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!

Plus I signed up (free) for their gas card program and can save 18 cents a gallon on my next fill-up at a Sunoco station. Not bad!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

David eats a Fish

You can order fried trout anywhere in the world but David was hoping for
a fish that really looked like a fish...
he got his wish!

After commenting on how delicious it was and enjoying the main portions
he decided to taste an eyeball!
I'm "grossing out" and telling him he's disgusting, his grandparents are amused...

Here's what's left...and yes, he did eat an eyeball, but only one...
"squishy, a little sour...think I'll just eat one..."

Thanks to Nellie, I enjoy my fish cooked this way!!!!
It was delicious!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The People of Romania

One of my reasons to visit Romania with my parents was to meet the people they love and that love them in return. I was in constant amazement of the deep friendships they share.

We stayed in "Mama Ghita's" home.
Here she and her sister posed for a picture...sweet women...

Tinca Church Children

Another David

Lifting "weights" with Cristi

This dear woman prays for my parents every morning and evening.

Daniel and Roxanna -- love these kids!!

Gypsy Children I had the privilege of teaching.

A Wonderful Christian family -- so many things I could say about our time spent with them.
Maybe later...

This family lived down the street from my parents in Solanta. Let's just say they were VERY EXCITED to see Mom and Dad show up unexpectedly!!!! We received royal treatment!!

A dear lady - Eva - that works in the orphanage.

One of the two birthday cakes that dad received while there.

David and Cipiri see each other after 4 years. This isn't the picture that shows their happy faces but I'm too lazy to change it.

All the children couldn't get enough of playing with David!

David meets a new friend, Josef. Here they are discussing the rules of baseball - a very uncommon game in Romania!! Soccer rules there.

This woman was sitting outside her gate when she spotted us. Her kiss says it all.

The children from the church in Batar.

These girls have lived at the orphanage since they were very young.
They were so happy to see "Grandpa and Grandma" again and could hardly say good-bye.

The neighbor from down the street...sooo happy to see the "big" David.